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From The Socialist newspaper, 3 March 2011

Stop the cuts

Protest as forty Sure Start centres across Manchester face closure and privatisation as the city council carries out the government spending cuts, photo Manchester Socialist Party

Protest as forty Sure Start centres across Manchester face closure and privatisation as the city council carries out the government spending cuts, photo Manchester Socialist Party   (Click to enlarge)

Things have got to be bad when the governor of the Bank of England, Mervyn King, warns that living standards may never recover from the financial crisis. "It is not like an ordinary recession where you lose output and get it back quickly," he cautioned. He went on to say: "The cost of this crisis is only now being felt. I'm surprised that the degree of anger hasn't been greater".

For the capitalist commentators the revolutionary movements in the Middle East were a 'surprise' and seemed to come from nowhere. Such was their inability to see the enormous subterranean volcano of anger that was fed by mass unemployment, low wages and poor living standards.

But Mr King and his Con-Dem collaborators won't have to wait long for workers to take to the streets in Britain. The TUC demonstration on 26 March will provide workers and young people, public service users and benefit claimants, pensioners, parents and students with an opportunity to express the enormous 'degree of anger' they feel. The council chamber lobbies, occupations and local demonstrations have provided a foretaste of this.

But this demonstration must be only the beginning. The Con-Dems have the welfare state, trade union rights and everything the working class has fought for over generations in their sights.

Such an onslaught requires a serious and determined response. The trade union leaders must act, coordinating national strike action - the only language pro-big business politicians understand.

Just as mass action of working class people, through an organised 18 million-strong non-payment campaign, made Thatcher's hated poll tax unworkable, these cuts can be stopped. Just as that movement led to Thatcher's removal, we can get rid of the Con-Dems too!

We need action:

Demonstrate!

The demonstration against cuts on 26 March is going to be huge. It will be a key step in building the confidence of workers to fight back, as the 10 November demo showed students their potential strength. (See www.tuc.org.uk)

Strike!

But marching is not enough. It was the strike action in Egypt that finally made it clear to Mubarak that he would have to go. Strike action by workers in councils and across the public sector to defend the public sector is needed here. The next step should be a one-day public sector general strike.

Occupy!

Public buildings, services and resources belong to us and future generations. It is not for politicians to hand them over to private profiteers. Occupations to defend our public property, liaising with the trade unions, are necessary.

Needs budget

Instead of weeping and hand-wringing we need councillors to stand up and vote against cuts. They should set needs budgets, based on the services and jobs required. We need public representatives who will stand up for us, who will fight for us and who we can trust. If councillors won't do this they must stand aside and allow those who will to represent us. The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition is calling for anti-cuts campaigns to stand candidates. (See www.tusc.org.uk)

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In The Socialist 3 March 2011:


Anti-cuts campaign

Stop the cuts

Marching on the Con-Dem conferences in Wales

Fighting the cuts: Thousands protest, lobby and occupy

Lewisham election: There is an alternative!

Determination to beat the cuts


International socialist news

Fantastic results in Irish election: Socialists and lefts gain five seats

Elections see collapse of Fianna Fail, the traditional establishment party


Socialist Party news and analysis

Coalition steps up assault on NHS

Westminster: Save our children's services

Who 'agrees with Nick' now?

News in brief


Socialist Party workplace news

Largest protest yet against Wisconsin Governor's anti-union bill

Unison witch-hunt: Reinstate the Four!

End the blacklist

Workplace news in brief


Youth fight for jobs

Jarrow to London: March for jobs

CWU youth conference 'ready and willing to take action'


Socialist Party women

International Women's Day 2011: Women and the fightback


Socialist Party congress 2011

Socialist Party 2011 congress - a party growing in strength


International socialist news and analysis

Libya: A fight to the finish

Tunisia: Revolution and counter-revolution on the streets


Marxist analysis: history

Liverpool 1983-87: the council that fought Thatcher


 

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Related links:

Cuts:

triangleBradford Socialist Party: A strategy to defeat the cuts

triangleScene set for TUSC conference electoral debate

triangleHaringey: now's our chance for a no-cuts council

triangleBristol anti-cuts campaigners debate alternatives to the cuts

triangleNorthern health campaigns conference discusses the fightback

Strike:

triangleNorth London Socialist Party: Save our NHS - the lessons of the Barts strike

triangleUni strike: coordinate public sector fightback

triangleBig political strike against Finnish government's attack on unemployed

triangleTeachers strike again as anti-academy pressure mounts

US:

triangleThe Socialist inbox

triangleYour newspaper fights with you: help fund it with May Day greetings

triangleVietnam War: 50 years since the Tet Offensive

Public sector:

triangleLocal government workers' reps reject 2% pay offer

trianglePCS executive agrees next steps in pay campaign

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